Pirates, Ranked #3 in NCAA Division III, Improve to 15-0
SALEM, ORE. -- Whitworth University, ranked #3 in NCAA Division III by D3hoops.com, connected on 23 of 26 free throws against Willamette University on Saturday, Jan. 15, as the Pirates downed the Bearcats, 84-70, at Cone Field House. Whitworth improved its undefeated record to 15-0, while moving to 6-0 in the Northwest Conference. Willamette fell to 4-11 overall, 1-5 in the NWC.
David Riley led the Pirates with 27 points on 10 of 20 field goals, including three 3-point baskets. He also grabbed five rebounds, earned two steals and recorded one blocked shot. Mike Taylor provided Whitworth with 22 points, five rebounds and five assists, while Jack Loofburrow registered a double-double with 13 points and 10 rebounds.
Terrell Malley (So., G, Portland, OR/Roosevelt HS) paced Willamette with 22 points, while hitting 12 of 15 free throws. Taylor Mounts (Jr., Wing/Post, Kailua, HI/Iolani School) scored 20 points and hauled down eight rebounds for the Bearcats. Ryan Meehan (Jr., Wing, Beaverton, OR/Beaverton HS/MSU-Billings) achieved 13 points, two steals and a blocked shot.
Whitworth led for nearly all of the first half, but the Bearcats stayed within striking distance. The Pirates owned an 11-4 advantage after a layup by Mike Taylor with 15:24 remaining in the half. Willamette registered the next six points to cut the margin to 11-10 with just under 11 minutes on the clock. The visitors responded with seven unanswered points, giving Whitworth an 18-10 edge with 9:58 to go in the period.
The Bearcats reduced the lead to 18-16 on two free throws by Mounts with 8:35 left. Willamette also trailed by just two points, 22-20, with 4:55 remaining before halftime. The Pirates extended the margin to 30-22 on an 8-2 run, but the Bearcats trailed by just five points at the break, 32-27.
A 5-0 run in the first minute of the second half gave Whitworth it's first double-digit lead of the night at 37-27. After Willamette scored on a basket by Sean Dart (So., Post, Bend, OR/Mountain View HS/Eastern Oregon Univ.) to cut the deficit to 37-29, the Pirates went on an 11-4 run for a 48-33 lead with 14:11 left.
The lead remained in double digits for the Pirates the rest of the game, but Willamette did get within 81-70 when Malley sank a 3-pointer with 31 seconds left. Riley finished the scoring by hitting 3-pointer for Whitworth with eight seconds to go.
Whitworth's 23-for-26 effort on free throws resulted in 88.5% accuracy for the Pirates at the line. They also shot 44.3% from the field (27 of 61), including 60.7% (17 of 28) in the second half. The Pirates were successful on 7 of 23 three-pointers (30.4%).
During the game, Willamette connected on 27 of 40 free throws (67.5%). The Bearcats were 19 of 48 on field goals (39.6%), bolstered by 50% shooting in the second half (11 of 22). Both teams shot about 30% from the field in the first half.
Willamette achieved a 38-35 edge on the boards, led by Dart, who brought down nine rebounds. The Bearcats lost the ball 18 times, while Whitworth committed just 11 turnovers.
Northwest Conference action will continue for the Bearcats on Friday, Jan. 21, when they will travel the short distance to Portland, Ore., to take on Lewis & Clark College. Tipoff is slated for 8 p.m. (PST).
Willamette University 70